This intense drama, Marsha Norman’s first play, opened on Broadway in March, 1983. It was awarded the 1983 Pulitzer Prize for drama. The long conversation between mother and daughter demonstrates the fact that a mother can live in the same house with her daughter and think she knows her quite well while she actually knows very little about her. Jessie understands herself quite well; on this last evening of her life, she talks more than she ever has and demonstrates for the first time a sense of determination and purpose, a peaceful energy, her newly discovered self-confidence, and a “quirky” sense of humor that has never amused anyone except herself. She firmly believes that her decision to commit suicide is the best one she has ever made and that it is right for her. She also seems to be confident that her mother is capable of taking care of herself and that she will be better off doing so.
The previous lack of communication between the two is perhaps the major theme of the play. It is ironic that a woman who talks as much as Thelma has neglected to say so many truly meaningful things. Jessie has never asked questions, shared her opinions, or chosen to talk to anyone except her father. When Thelma asks what the two of them whispered about, Jessie replies that they were discussing important things such as why black socks are warmer than blue socks. Jessie has been very secure with her father’s habit of just sitting, of being quiet, and of not doing anything; Thelma has never understood it. In making strings of paper “boyfriends” and animals for Jessie, her father has given her the only memory of her childhood that she seems to value.
Thelma has a deep lack of self-confidence that becomes apparent for the first...
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Analysis Of Refugee Mother And Child
The title of the poem gives off the initial impression that the poem may focus on refugees: one who flees to seek refuge, The lives of refugee children, their parents, their feelings, their emotions and their pain. 'For a son she soon would have to forget'. This foreshadows the idea that her son is dying, and she would have to forget him to adapt to her tragic loss. 2 The metaphor in the fist stanza, 'No Madonna and Child could touch that picture...', relates to the idea of Mary and her child, Jesus. The picture perfect image - the ideal image of motherhood. The picture of a beautiful, serene mother with her holy new born child. Realistically the scene would have been far from that idea of bliss. The idea of the first stanza is that the tenderness that the character, the mother, expresses towards her child in the poem surpasses the ideal image of Mary and Jesus. The two situations do not even compare to the depth of love and tenderness of the Refugee Mother and Child. 3 The poet uses the repetition and the contrasting ideas of the word 'washed' in describing the emaciated state of the refugee children. 'Unwashed...' - the hygienic state, 'and 'Washed-out...' the physical state of the children due to the lack of food. 4 'Blown empty bellies', the physical appearance of the children's stomachs because of the limited food supply of only carbohydrates. From this unhealthy diet the combination of acids and gases blow out the stomach of the children. This vivid description could also possibly be a pun to the blowflies in Africa. 5 'A ghost smile', this metaphor could possibly be two ideas: The mother is happy because she is with her son, you can tell she is happy but her smile is faint, hard to notice. Her happiness can't easily be seen, her smile is not shown in a physical appearance, it holds happiness that gives off its emotion in a feeling which can't quite be explained, but can be felt by others. This metaphor shows how the mother keeps a fake, or 'ghost' smile on her lips for her child's sake -...
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